Disrupting AI-based influencers in shopping platforms

Dissuasion Engine, pre-selected as part of Driving the Human’s “Seven prototypes for eco-social renewal” initiative conceives a new kind of web-based and mobile, consumption experience — one that will enable its users to critically reflect on the human and environmental externalities involved in their consumption decisions. Dissuasion Engine aims to bring to reveal how hidden AI-based technologies shape our decisions of what and how much to consume in the first place. 

Focusing on the negative externalities triggered by online mass consumption, our project questions both human and technological factors. Between these two is the role of design as it imagines and engineers the interfaces and symbols that drive our existence. 

Design has always been the engine of innovation and progress. In times of ubiquitous misinformation, visual pollution, mass consumption, ecocide and other emerging crises, design can be seen as bearing some responsibilities. 

Design often obscures problem making in its mission in problem solving. As image makers we may wonder how and where we sometimes fit in the chains of production and consumption, between calls for economic growth and environmental sustainability.

It is often said that design, even activism, naturally tends to be commodified, but it is “form” itself when it is objectified that can be commodified. More than anything, design has a long history of being driven by commerce. As always our challenge remains to always establish and re-establish life and poetics as the central values of what and how we do what we do.

Dissuasion Engine is a project by Erik Adigard, Alexandre Quessy and Chris Salter